Chapter 17.28


17.28.010    Purpose.

17.28.020    Zoning compliance.

17.28.030    Blocks and lots.

17.28.035    Single-family attached development.

17.28.040    Development standards.

17.28.050    Street requirements.

17.28.060    Utility requirements.

17.28.070    In-lieu payment for requirements not immediately necessary.

17.28.010 Purpose.

It is the purpose of this chapter to identify the design requirements and civil improvements necessary for subdivisions within the City of Ferndale. Unless otherwise noted, the improvement requirements for short and long plats shall be identical and shall be proportional to the impact of the proposal, consistent with RCW 82.02.020 and subject to SEPA environmental review, where applicable. When the type or intensity of future uses cannot be determined, the City reserves the right to authorize limited infrastructure improvements at the subdivision stage and to require full improvements at the time of future development. City of Ferndale application materials shall at a minimum include the information necessary to determine compliance with this chapter. (Ord. 1851 § 3, 2014; Ord. 1774 § 1, 2013; Ord. 1734 § 1, 2012)

17.28.020 Zoning compliance.

Short plats and plats shall be designed in a manner consistent with all zoning standards contained in FMC Title 18. (Ord. 1774 § 1, 2013; Ord. 1734 § 1, 2012; Ord. 1399 § 2, 2006)

17.28.030 Blocks and lots.

The size, shape and orientation of blocks and lots shall be appropriate for the location, the type of development contemplated and in conformance with the following requirements:

A.    Blocks.

1.    The width of blocks shall provide for two tiers of lots, each of which shall have a minimum depth of 100 feet.

2.    The length of blocks shall not exceed 1,320 feet where the average size of lots does not exceed two acres in area.

3.    In any block exceeding 660 feet in length, walks or pedestrian ways at a midblock point shall be required, to provide circulation or access to schools, playgrounds, shopping centers, and other facilities serving the short plat or plat.

4.    Maximum length of cul-de-sac roadways in residential divisions shall not exceed 600 feet.

B.    Lots.

1.    Excessive depth in relation to width shall be avoided. A proportion of depth to width shall generally not exceed a ratio of two and one-half to one, and this shall be considered as desirable depth for lots having widths of 85 feet or more.

2.    Every lot shall provide direct, safe, and maneuverable access to and from a street, including access for emergency vehicles. In certain circumstances, access to a lot in a proposed plat may be provided by an easement or a panhandle lot configuration upon a showing by the Subdivision Administrator that the following criteria have been met:

a.    Use of an easement or panhandle lot configuration is required because the size and shape of the lot being divided, and/or the location of existing substantial structures on the lot being divided, precludes other reasonable subdivision arrangements.

b.    The easement or handle portion of a panhandle lot shall be a minimum of 24 feet in width.

c.    The easement or handle portion of a panhandle lot shall be located on terrain, the slope of which does not exceed 10 percent, as per Table 6-1 of the Ferndale Development Standards (FMC 19.30.040).

d.    All proposed lots shall meet the minimum lot area requirements for the zone, exclusive of the easement area or area included in the handle portion of a panhandle lot.

e.    If the easement or handle portion of a panhandle lot provides access to more than one dwelling, the physical construction of the access shall comply with City standards for a private road. In no case shall such a road service more than four residential units.

f.    The design of the easement or panhandle lot configuration will provide for adequate access and maneuvering of emergency service vehicles, as determined by the Fire District.

3.    Lots fronting on cul-de-sac roadways shall be at least 40 feet wide at the edge of the right-of-way and of sufficient size at the building line to create a minimum building envelope of at least 40 feet by 40 feet, exclusive of setbacks.

4.    Lots for residence purpose shall comply with lot widths identified in the underlying zone.

5.    Lots, except corner lots, having frontage on two streets shall be avoided.

6.    Side lot lines shall be approximately at right angles to the right-of-way line of the street on which the lot faces.

7.    Corner lots for residential use shall be platted wider than interior lots, and shall conform to the front yard requirements on the side street as prescribed by FMC 18.72.040(E).

8.    Proposed short plats and plats which include lot layout to be used for commercial or retail purposes shall be designed to provide for a minimum of off-street parking as required by FMC 18.76.020 and the building and parking areas shall be made a part of the short plat or final plat.

9.    There shall be a five-foot utility easement dedicated around the perimeter of each lot.

C.    All plats and short plats providing for residential development shall be subject to the provisions of the City’s current ordinance on dedications or impact assessments for parks, recreation facilities and open spaces. (Ord. 2151 § 1 (Exh. 1), 2020; Ord. 1851 §§ 4, 5, 2014; Ord. 1823 § 1, 2014; Ord. 1734 § 1, 2012; Ord. 1399 § 2, 2006. Formerly 17.28.010 and 17.28.040)

17.28.035 Single-family attached development.

In some cases an applicant may wish to create a subdivision allowing up to two single-family residences to be clustered utilizing a zero lot line, defined as “single-family attached duplex” in FMC 18.08.550. Generally the same overall density is maintained in accordance with the underlying zone; however, cluster lots may be reduced in size and street frontage requirements in order to retain open space, preserve environmentally sensitive areas, conserve energy, and provide development flexibility, or the character of a single-family neighborhood supporting higher density. These regulations have been adopted to provide for reduced or eliminated setbacks, and in some areas common wall construction (zero lot line construction), where desired in order to provide design flexibility and promote a more desirable living environment.

The requirements of this section shall be considered as modifications to the subdivision requirements relating only to setbacks. Any single-family attached development approval under this section shall be restricted to development as herein prescribed, and as may be allowed by the underlying zone. Should the use within the underlying review require anything but an administrative approval, such approval must be provided prior to recording the subdivision.

A.    A single-family attached development shall be proposed in conjunction with the subdivision of property through a long plat or a short plat in conformity with this title, and the following notes shall be shown on the subdivision recorded with the Whatcom County auditor:

1.    All structures built with zero lot lines must be surveyed and staked by a licensed surveyor prior to pouring of the foundations.

2.    Legal provisions must be made and recorded between abutting property owners where either uses the zero lot line provision herein to allow for proper maintenance of the exterior wall of a zero lot line structure, including:

a.    Exterior and common wall structural maintenance; and

b.    Painting and colors; and

c.    Reconstruction of a unit due to fire or natural hazard damage. The common wall agreement shall be recorded as a covenant running with the land and shall not be revoked without approval of the City Attorney. The common wall agreement shall be recorded at the auditor’s office prior to the issuance of a building permit.

3.    All dwellings constructed within the zero lot line development shall be so constructed as to share a common property line with an adjoining parcel or lot.

4.    Minimum Site Area. Each lot shall contain a minimum lot size of not less than one-half of the size specified in the applicable zone unless approved by the Ferndale City Council as a planned unit development, pursuant to Chapter 18.68 FMC. In no case shall the minimum lot size be less than 3,000 square feet.

5.    Minimum Property Dimensions. Each lot shall have a minimum width of 30 feet and will typically have a depth of 100 feet.

6.    One Unit per Lot. Each dwelling shall be located on its own individual platted lot. The plat shall indicate the zero lot line easements and restrictions appurtenant thereto. A construction maintenance agreement between the owners of the zero lot line lots shall be recorded in the county auditor’s office. The easement shall provide for a minimum five-foot easement extending in all directions from all zero setback walls. The purpose of the easement is for construction, maintenance, and repair of the dwellings located on the zero lot line.

7.    Property Lines. All lots located within a zero lot line development shall be designated as having the following property lines:

a.    Front street property line, which shall be the property line adjacent to the street or public thoroughfare by which access is gained to the lot;

b.    Rear lot line, which shall be the lot line opposite the front street property line;

c.    Interior property line, which shall mean the lot line shared with the adjoining parcel or lots except for corner lots, where the side street property line shall be known as the side street property line;

d.    Common property line shall mean the property line on which the dwelling structure is located, and which is shared with an adjoining property owner;

e.    The dwelling unit shall be placed upon only one interior property line with zero setbacks.

8.    Setbacks. Minimum setbacks will be as follows:

a.    Front and rear: as per underlying zone.

b.    Side: five feet from single-family attached development lots within the subdivision, otherwise as per underlying zone. Does not include shared zero foot setback.

9.    Accessory Buildings and Structures. Accessory buildings and structures shall observe setback requirements applicable to the zone.

10.    Utilities. Each dwelling unit shall be provided with a separate water meter, electric meter, gas meter (if applicable), and septic system (if applicable) wholly contained on its lot.

11.    Lot Coverage. All lots shall assume a lot coverage of 1,600 square feet regardless of size, or the maximum lot coverage of the underlying zone, whichever is less restrictive.

12.    Shared Landscaping Area. The recorded plat shall identify a shared landscaping area within the shared front yard between single-family attached units. The landscaping area shall include at least one tree in addition to groundcover, and shall be sufficient to provide the appearance of a visual separation between the attached units, as viewed from the street fronting the structures. (Ord. 2151 § 1 (Exh. 1), 2020; Ord. 1823 § 1, 2014)

17.28.040 Development standards.

It is intended that all improvements made and constructed pursuant to this title shall be in conformance with the provisions of FMC Title 19, Ferndale Development Standards. Whenever conflicts occur as the result of the application of the requirements of this chapter and of FMC Title 19, the requirements of the latter shall govern. (Ord. 2151 § 1 (Exh. 1), 2020; Ord. 1894 § 2 (Exh. 2), 2015; Ord. 1823 § 1, 2014; Ord. 1734 § 1, 2012; Ord. 1399 § 2, 2006. Formerly 17.28.005)

17.28.050 Street requirements.

A.    Right-of-Way Width of Streets. The minimum right-of-way width of streets shall be as described by Chapter 19.30 FMC (Table 6-1).

B.    Street Layout. Street layout shall conform to the most advantageous development of adjoining areas and the entire neighborhood and shall provide for the following:

1.    Street continuity of appropriate streets and arterials;

2.    Streets continuing to the boundaries of the land included in the short plat or plat;

3.    Streets generally following contour lines;

4.    Streets intersecting at right angles, or as nearly as possible;

5.    Streets without jogs;

6.    Full-width streets;

7.    Streets shall be designed to provide access to development on both sides of the street, unless parcel configuration or existing development precludes such construction;

8.    Alleys in business districts;

9.    Either alleys in the rear or service drives in the front of residential lots fronting on major arterials;

10.    Compliance, through dedication and/or construction, of street(s) identified in the Transportation Element of the Ferndale Comprehensive Plan.

C.    Street Composition, Design and Construction. Composition of streets shall be as specified in Road Construction (Standard Detail R Series) drawings contained within the Ferndale Development Standards. Design and construction of streets shall be in accordance with Chapter 19.30 FMC and associated construction details.

D.    Street Grades. All changes in street grades shall be connected by vertical curves meeting the standards and requirements of the Director of Public Works.

E.    Sidewalks. Sidewalks meeting the standards of the Director of Public Works shall be installed in accordance with Chapter 19.40 FMC. (Ord. 2151 § 1 (Exh. 1), 2020; Ord. 1894 § 2 (Exh. 2), 2015; Ord. 1734 § 1, 2012; Ord. 1399 § 2, 2006. Formerly 17.28.060, 17.28.080 – 17.28.110)

17.28.060 Utility requirements.

Utilities, including both City and other public or quasi-public facilities, including but not limited to sanitary sewer, water, stormwater, and street lighting, shall be designed and installed by the applicant, and approved by the appropriate agency as a condition of plat approval.

A.    Sanitary Sewer. A complete sanitary sewer system shall be designed and installed in accordance with the standards of and under the supervision of the Director of Public Works.

B.    Water. The water distribution system, including fire hydrants, shall be installed in accordance with City and Whatcom County Fire District 7 standards and applicable rules and regulations.

C.    Stormwater. A stormwater report shall be prepared by a licensed engineer to determine preliminary and post development rate, and shall include measures to avoid or mitigate impacts using the most recently adopted Department of Ecology Stormwater Manual. Such measures shall be designed and installed by the subdivider prior to final subdivision approval.

D.    Street Lighting. Street lighting shall be installed as per Chapter 19.35 FMC. (Ord. 2151 § 1 (Exh. 1), 2020; Ord. 1894 § 2 (Exh. 2), 2015; Ord. 1734 § 1, 2012; Ord. 1399 § 2, 2006. Formerly 17.28.070, 17.28.120, 17.28.150)

17.28.070 In-lieu payment for requirements not immediately necessary.

The Public Works Director may, upon a finding that specified design requirements of this chapter are not immediately necessary to serve the public use and interest, require payment of cash in lieu thereof to be placed in a reserve fund of the City in an amount sufficient to satisfy the reasonably foreseeable cost to the public of providing the specified design requirements to the area when needed in the future. (Ord. 2151 § 1 (Exh. 1), 2020; Ord. 1894 § 2 (Exh. 2), 2015; Ord. 1734 § 1, 2012; Ord. 1399 § 2, 2006. Formerly 17.28.160)